When the 23-year-old Port Elizabeth resident ­decided to become a chef, his parents were really worried. They thought he’d pack on even more kilos. But to their surprise, the opposite happened.

Jeandré Peters – whose grandmother, Pam, had taught him to cook as a kid – had been overweight since his schooldays. But when the 23-year-old Port Elizabeth resident ­– who weighed 177kg – decided to become a chef, his parents, Yvonne and Ettienne, were really worried. They thought he’d pack on even more kilos.

But to their surprise, the opposite happened.

In year and a half Jeandré has lost more than 70kg – he now weighs 104kg.

“So far he’s lost 73kg just by eating correctly,” Ettienne tells YOU. “Many children and young people who are overweight give up hope and use diet products without success. Jeandré wants to encourage people to lose weight so they can enjoy a better quality of life.”

Jeandré, who’s a chef at a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), decided at the end of 2017 he no longer wanted to live an unhealthy lifestyle.

The turning point came when he struggled to complete a shift at work.

“It was a difficult evening. I was so exhausted. My feet ached and I was so overweight.”

That’s when he and a colleague, Jacques le Roux (23), decided to cut out sugary drinks and sweets as part of their New Year’s resolutions.

Jeandré used to go through a two-litre bottle of sugar-laden cooldrink every day. He says it takes time to change your eating habits, but with discipline it’s possible.